The election campaign in Poland also called the Roman Catholic Church into action. Not, as was supposed, in order to actively get involved, but to call for practiced asceticism. But this reticence is not really convincing.
Inhalt / Content
The Catholic Church must hold back politically
In the meantime, political advertising events for the future head of government have started in Poland. The parties have positioned themselves and are taking their respective positions. The election campaign will run until the expected election day on October 15, 2023. In the next few weeks, hardly any Pole will be able to avoid the topic of politics, unless they are in one of the numerous Catholic churches.
Don’t name a party straight away
Cardinal-elect Grzegorz Ryś does not want electoral campaigning or politics in general in the Church. “Politics don’t belong in the pulpit,” the future cardinal warned, as Vatican News reported. In an interview with the Polish news agency PAP, the Archbishop of Łódź called on the priests to practice asceticism, which is actually their duty. One should not say “straightforward”, “vote this or that party”. This is unacceptable.
Everything is relative, including the church
The future cardinal qualified the already very flexible statement even further. The news agency asked where the Catholic Church actually sees its role during the election campaign. For the archbishop, the answer depends on how the church is now defined. “If church – and we always insist – means all of the baptized, then lay people have the right to participate in political life, that’s clear,” Ryś said. Shaping the world according to one’s own ideas is also the right of a baptized layperson. This applies to baptized laypeople as well as to himself. However, there is no right to participate in “so-called realpolitik”. This is obvious and affects every cleric.
A clergyman only has a right to political statements if they are of a moral nature. A good example of this is the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. This criticized the British migration policy. Because Welby did not operate in politics, but made a moral assessment.
Church of Rome is a sacrament
The Archbishop of Łódź refers to a passage in the Dogmatic Constitution “Lumen Gentium” of the Second Vatican Council:
“In Christ, the Church is, as it were, the sacrament, that is, a sign and instrument for the most intimate union with God and for the unity of all mankind”
The church must be concerned with creating unity and not with exacerbating existing polarization or creating new ones. “We defined ourselves that way in Vatican II. But sometimes I think it only seems as if,” says Ryś.
The future cardinal recalled that papal liturgies do not have speeches made by politicians. “They greet and say goodbye – that’s it”.
The Catholic Church also does not engage in political interference on the subject of abortion. The teaching of the Church on this subject is evident, and this doctrine cannot be changed in any way. “It was finally and infallibly proclaimed by Pope John Paul II,” said the Archbishop.
Not directly, but indirectly
While the cardinal-elect considers it unacceptable to specifically promote a party from the pulpit and also to mention its name, does this also apply to the delivery of the prepared sermon? If one already claims the interpretative authority over morality for oneself, this can be formulated and presented to the listening community in such a way that it precisely corresponds to the election program of one of the candidate parties. The topics of abortion and migration are very suitable for this anyway. Happy is the party whose moral concepts correspond to the “infallible judgment” of the penultimate pope. Only “good will” counts here.
The statement from the “Lumen Gentium” presented by Ryś shows how far the self-understanding of this church and thus also of this future cardinal has degenerated. The Roman Catholic Church considers itself a sacrament, meaning that it is decisive for people’s salvation. In addition, there is a completely inverted statement of the gospel, “the unity of all mankind”. This goal exists in the gospel only insofar as the adversary of God is trying to do just that, in order to lead rebellion against God together with the united humanity.
Church of Rome without interference in politics?
Here the question arose whether the clergy got confused during the Second Vatican Council conducted by Karl Rahner SJ, or whether the “God” of the Roman Catholic Church is quite different from the one they always try to portray. Jesus Christ clearly denied that all of humanity would live in peace, as in Matthew 10:34-36:
” Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.”
The future cardinal can lament all he likes. A Roman Catholic Church without interference in politics would not be the Roman Catholic Church. The “deadly wound” inflicted in 1798 has long since healed.
Bible verses from King James Version